The Educational Interests
by Captain Franklin Ellis442
The educational interest of the town have received an unusual degree of attention, not only in the support of common schools, but in the establishment of academies and seminaries. Sixteen districts were formed by the school board in 1819, which number is still maintained. In 1878 these reported seven hundred and forty-nine children of school age, from which an average attendance of two hundred and seventy-two pupils was secured. The town has several comfortable school buildings, the one at New Lebanon being especially notable for the architectural taste displayed in its construction.
One of the first academies in these parts was instituted at the suggestion of Jarvis Mudge, who set aside a lot of ground for this purpose, at Lebanon Springs, about 1784. This lot is now owned by H. B. Sanford. A stock company erected a building and opened a school, which was patronized by the youth from the leading families. Many of these young men became distinguished in State and national affairs. The academy building was destroyed by fire while used for other purposes. At the same time a brand from the burning academy set fire to the "Navarino House," in which was a boarding-school, conducted by by a Mr. Hubbard. The bell formerly used on the old academy is still employed in the belfry of the school building at the Springs.
Some time about 1800, Dominie Booge had a select school in the northern part of the town, in whihc he fitted young men for college.